Our Blog


September 24, 2020

Investing in Justice Through Thick and Thin

A message from Sean Berkowitz, 2020 Investing in Justice Campaign Chair

Thanks to your dedicated leadership, I am pleased to announce outstanding results for this year’s Investing in Justice Campaign despite the unprecedented circumstances we all find ourselves facing today. At a time when it is needed more than ever, more than 4,200 attorneys and legal […]

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September 17, 2020

JEP Helps Small Businesses Navigate the Pandemic

As small businesses wrestle with the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) hosted a free virtual workshop for the small businesses in the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce earlier this month. “Ask JEP: Navigating Legal Relationships in a Time of COVID” was designed to help these businesses understand and respond […]

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September 16, 2020

New Illinois JusticeCorps Court Information Helpline Launches

The Illinois JusticeCorps program is proud to announce the launch of its new Court Information Helpline – a phone resource created to aid people without lawyers trying to access the courts during the ongoing pandemic. The helpline now serves as one central location for unrepresented litigants to call for legal information and resource referrals for […]

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August 18, 2020

Lessons from Within

My New Year’s Resolution for our legal profession this year was to make law better by looking to what we can learn from other professions and industries, and as I explored further over the past few months, there is no shortage of material on that front.

As we look at ways we can better and more sustainably serve the public, there also are a number of lessons we can learn from the areas of the legal services market that are functioning reasonably well for lawyers and clients today.

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August 17, 2020

Tackling the Student Debt Crisis with a Comprehensive and Long-Term Solution

As the CBF continues to support efforts to protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and to enact meaningful COVID-19 student debt relief measures, we also have ramped up our advocacy for a more comprehensive solution to the student debt crisis.

In the last few months, we’ve been fortunate to work with an incredible team of pro bono attorneys—led by Erin Turley and Allison Wilkerson at McDermott Will & Emery and David Whaley at Thompson Hine LLP–who have done great work turning the CBF’s proposals and ideas into actual legislative language.

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August 14, 2020

Supreme Court Rule 139: New Eviction Rule Benefits Tenants, Landlords, and Courts

Imagine being asked to go to court to defend yourself, but without knowing exactly what you are defending yourself against. This situation was all too common for many tenants in Illinois until the recent adoption of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 139. Rule 139 now requires plaintiff landlords to attach a copy of the eviction termination notice and any relevant lease provisions…

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July 22, 2020

task force report cover pageCBA/CBF Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation Releases Report and Recommendations for Public Comment

The Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation officially released its report and recommendations for public comment today.

The problem the Task Force seeks to address in a nutshell is an untenable failure in the legal market: at the same time we have more lawyers practicing than ever before, more people than ever before are going without legal help. Dozens of lawyers and legal professionals from diverse backgrounds across the legal community in Illinois and beyond have worked diligently over the past nine months to tackle these issues and develop a comprehensive series of recommendations for regulatory reform.

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July 20, 2020

Where’s the Proof?

This is a common refrain from the naysayer crowd when the subject of regulatory reform and access to justice is raised. And we can be sure we will hear it when the CBA and CBF Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation releases its report and recommendations for public comment this week.

From the beginning of time, this has been the anthem of all who fear change and resist progress. It is a misguided question because, after all, how can you prove something that has not happened yet? When the question is properly framed in this context, however, it turns out there actually is lots of proof that underscores the urgent need for regulatory reform.

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July 16, 2020

Groundbreaking New Research Report Shows that Legal Assistance Has a Broad Range of Impacts on Case Outcomes and Court Efficiency

A new research report based on a comprehensive study in California shows that access to civil legal aid has a broad range of significant positive impacts. Specifically, the report underscores that access to legal assistance improved case outcomes, significantly increased perceptions of fairness, and…

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July 15, 2020

CBF/Circuit Court Pro Se Advisory Committee Recommends Changes to Make Remote Court Services More Accessible and Efficient

The Circuit Court of Cook County reopened on Monday, July 6 after being largely closed to the public for over three months. In anticipation of some of the unique challenges self-represented litigants will face in this new environment, the CBF/Circuit Court Pro Se Advisory Committee made several recommendations…

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